If you’ve experienced Christmas in the Alps and fancy trying something different, put Japan on your wish list.
Not only does this nation give you the chance for some serious festive feasting (it grows and serves THE freshest, most delicious ski food), it also has December snow records to rival all others – even Santa’s known to squeeze in some ski time before his round the world trip, so keep an eye out!
Mountain towns often put on fabulous illuminations to mark the season, and mulled wine may make an appearance as a western-style warmer.
Experts in hospitality, Japan’s ski hotels are known for their convenient locations, pampering onsen and delectable menus – which may feature a festive twist for the occasion. Some hotels come on a gloriously hassle-free all-inclusive board basis, with pretty much all you’ll need for the duration of your stay, while others are booked as B&B or room-only for guests who prefer more flexibility. Father Christmas usually pops into the bigger properties for meetings and photos.
Most Decembers in the Japanese ski resorts see low temperatures down to -7°C, a lot of cloud cover and regular showers of the nation’s famously dry, powdery snow. Compared to anywhere else in the world at this time of year, ski conditions tend to be fabulous. When you’re packing, make sure to include lots of layers to keep out the chill.
Santa delivers all kinds of activities to the Japanese ski resorts at Christmastime. You’ll find ski resort staples like snowmobiling, sledding and snowshoeing, then weird, wonderful pursuits like snow banana boats. Visit Tomamu’s ice village or indoor beach, or treat yourself to a soak in Niseko’s steaming Onsen baths. It is the most wonderful time of the year after all, so look out for Father Christmas and Reindeer meetings and fireworks on Christmas Eve.